A group supporting Wigan’s first time mothers has revealed exciting plans for the future after being granted Community Interest Company status.
Mum2Mum, a peer-to-peer group, exists to show new mums that they are not alone when going through unexpected emotions, and share the highs and lows together in a world where social media gives a rose-tinted picture of being a parent.
Its founder, Nikki Forrest, set up the group following the birth of her first child, Alfie, after realising there were some elements of parenthood she had been unprepared for.
And now the group has been granted Community Interest Company (CIC) status, opening up a raft of benefits and opportunities for the group moving forward.
Nikki said: “It gives us a bit more of a professional status, and means we can start applying for funding to look at doing different bits and bobs, like events to promote positive mental health, baby first aid etc.
“We’re looking to provide these things for mums and to grow bigger, to promote it more. It’s about the mums, not babies.”
She added: “We all sat down and thought, if we were a CIC, we could do so much more, like health and wellbeing events every few months and courses on post-natal depression, which is more prevalent than we think. It’s in its infancy at the moment, but there’s lots of different stuff we want to do.”
When Nikki set up Mum2Mum at the start of the year, she said: “I was looking around after I had my little one in November.
“There were loads of brilliant baby groups across Wigan, but what I noticed was that there didn’t seem to be anything that was focussed on the mum instead of the baby.
“Every mum goes through it, they are just nervous to speak about how they feel. It’s an amazing experience, but it can be a lonely process sometimes, especially the first time you become a mum.”
Nikki, whose partner Peter Hill founded Place2Place, a sports-based mental health group, added that it was important to discuss parts of motherhood not normally touched on.
She said: “Social media always shows the perfect mum’s life, it’s like look at my baby’, but you don’t see the rough side.
“You feel like you’re the only mum going through it, sometimes you think you can’t cope anymore, but everyone is exactly the same.”
After arranging a first meet up to test the water, Nikki expected a handful of mums to turn up, and was shocked when the total attendance tallied 19. Today, around 35 mums regularly attend the Mum2Mum sessions.
The group meets up every Wednesday morning at the Fur Clemt cafe in Montrose Road, Wigan, from 10am-11.30am, and will be soon launching a Monday session.
For more information visit their social media page at facebook.com/mum2mumwigan